CHANCELLOR | Any Person, Not Every Person

When the Supreme Court decided Biden v. Nebraska, which declared President Biden’s loan forgiveness program unconstitutional, I am sure it was to the frustration of many around the nation and especially here at Cornell that loans are expected to be repaid. While borrowers groan at their financial constraints, there are few who ask why they have these loans at all. Yes, an obvious answer may be that they cannot afford to pay $88,150 a year, the cost of a Cornell degree. But that only answers the surface level question; it does not address why one needs a Cornell degree, or any degree for that matter. The deeper question being proposed is what the purpose of a university is. 

Cornellians React to Biden Administration Student Loan Forgiveness

Every semester, Cornell students take out loans to pay University tuition and fees, which have continually risen over the past several years. Total estimated cost of attendance this academic year was $83,296 for endowed colleges, and $62,798 for state contract colleges. As of Aug. 24, a program announced by the Biden administration may help defray some costs for current Cornell students and graduates with student loans to pay back. According to the Federal Student Aid division of the U.S. Department of Education, for borrowers with an individual income of less than $125,000 or or a household income less than $250,000, the U.S. Department of Education plans to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients and those with loans from the Department of Education.

GUEST ROOM | Student Debt Crisis and Policy Solutions

The student debt crisis is eminent and equal to the mortgage crisis in 2007. In “Condemning Students to Debt,” by Richard Fossey, “Generation Debt” and “DIY U,” by Anya Katamentz, and “Is College Worth it?” by Secretary William Bennet, the authors investigate the market failures regarding the student debt crisis.  Federal legislation must eliminate imperfect information, fix the principal-agent problem, establish greater accountability, utilize massive open online courseware, invest in public libraries, reestablish bankruptcy for student loans, lower interest rates and strengthen student success. National Student Loan Data System reports $1.3 trillion dollars in Federal student debt outstanding, and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau reports more than 150 billion dollars in private student debt outstanding. Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel reports 43.3 million people have student debt with an on average loan balance of $26,700.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Bernie can make college affordable again!

To the Editor:
Both private and public college tuition costs have increased exponentially since I attended Cornell in the early ’70s. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) thinks it’s outrageous that today’s students will be saddled with huge student loan debts, sometimes as high as $100,000. He advocates a tax on Wall Street speculation that will enable public colleges and universities to offer tuition-free education, and he’s fighting to significantly reduce student loan interest rates. In addition, Bernie has consistently voted to raise funding for public schools and to reduce class sizes. Bernie’s proposals show ingenuity and a concern for the ability of working class students to obtain a good education.